I am beginning a new series of posts entitled “What’s It to Ya’?” These posts appear periodically and depend on You my gracious readers. I will post a quote from a theologian or author that challenged me to think and invite you to respond to the quote in the comment section.
Here is the first quote:
“Politics are not the task of the Christian.” –
Do you agree with Bonheoffer’s statement?
- Bonhoeffer was part of the Valkyrie plot to assassinate Hitler. Do you think his actions conflict with this statement?
8 Replies to “What’s It to Ya’? Bonhoeffer Quote”
Bonhoeffer–one of my top favorites. You may find some interesting quotes here from Spurgeon on Christian conduct. http://spurgeonwarquotes.wordpress.com/
Knowing his story and the Nazi Germany he was living within at the time he wrote this, I am guessing his point was that politics is not the MAIN task of the Christian. Bonhoeffer was the exact opposite of an Essene. He was not a separatist but was a collaborator. He sought synthesis not analysis…to see how church and education and community could work together, not dissecting and analyzing…picking things apart. Wish we could directly ask him what he meant by this…but that’s my guess. I don’t think his plot to assassinate Hitler works against this quote. He pastored until his last day in the prison. He was a pastor first, conspirator second. Again, politics are not the MAIN thing for the Christian.
Agreed…I believe his point is that politics are not the main thing. I believe what he wrote in “Ethics” clarifies the quote we are discussing: “Government & church are bound by the same Lord & are bound together. In their task government and church are separate, but government and church have the same field of action, man. No single one of these relationships must be isolated so as to provide the basis for a particular constitutional for. The true aim is to provide room within every given form for the relationship which…is instituted by God and to entrust the further development to the Lord of both government and church.” I believe he viewed the juxtaposition of the ‘secular’ with the sacred, where Truth must speak up (i.e.,in the political arena) but with full belief that God has the last word. Upholding Truth above all else.
I disagree and I do feel his statement contradicts his actions.
Clarification- I disagree that politics are not the task of the Christian but as others have said I do not feel politics ate the Christians primary task.
Fantastic thoughts! Thanks for your participation!
Perhaps Bonhoeffer was stating that , just as there is a big difference between religion and God, there may be a big difference between government and politics. He knew how both could strangle a people under lies and self (he was literally strangled at the end).
There is a grand idea that somehow we can separate politics and Christianity. I believe, though, that Christianity is who we are and is represented in every action-either betraying it or upholding it and growing. Therefore, if you are a Christian, you cannot help but want to be involved in things that matter greatly-freedom, rule of law, et cetera. We must be on call to watch for despotism and, in this country at least, our votes are a representation of those beliefs.
I somewhat agree in that as I understand what Bonhoeffer was saying, the primary task of a Christian is to lead others to the Christ. Bonhoeffer demonstrated this in his life, teachings and writings. Reading some of his writings he was as dedicated a man to the gospel as a Christian could be. He lived in a very difficult era and lived his salvation as great as any human could. Politics are a part, a small part of our living here in the present. We must not distance ourselves from the outside world. Be in the world but lets us not be overcome by worldly ways. I believe Bonhoeffer found in later life that Politics was to viewed as part of living, but not the whole.